Merry #Christmas One And All.

Good morning and Merry Christmas to you, whoever and wherever you are.

I hope you’re day goes well and you’re surrounded by the people you love who love you back.

At some point today, take a moment to appreciate what you have and count your blessings.

Me? It’s 7am here, I have 2 of my 3 kids in the house and I’m the only one up. Changed days from when they used to wake me at 4am to ask if Santa had been.

There will be no present opening until laura arrives from her boyfriends.

Speaking of which, I have a gift under the tree for Laura’s boyfriend. That’s a first!! I’ve met the lad a few times and he seems like a decent guy and they love and care about each other.

This time next year, I think they’ll be living together. That’s fine by me.

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#Glasgow Spirit

Took a trip into Glasgow City centre yesterday, got off the train at Argyll Street and walked up Queen Street towards George Square.

Both streets were closed to traffic and the square was cordoned off with barriers.

There was a slightly eerie silence in the city with no traffic in these normally busy streets.

There was flowers at each entrance point to the square and small crowds gathered paying their respects. People were laying flowers expressing their grief showing their solidarity.

I’m not ashamed to confess that I was choked and had a small tear at one point myself, I’m sure most people did as the reality of the incident hit home.

In the other shopping streets, people went about their business, friendly but there was a sense of humility in the air.

This hurts, this could have affected any one of us. There but for the grace of God.

At the Glasgow Royal Infirmary Hospital, my mate Jim was there giving blood, he regularly donates both blood and platelets.

Apparently, the donation centre was so busy and they had collected so much blood that they were turning people away.

People Make Glasgow is a current motto of the city promoted by the recent Commonwealth Wealth Games.

Good times or bad, the people of this city aren’t slow to step up to the mark and play their part.

I’m very proud of my city.

Someone sent me the following poem by a Glasgow Cabbie. Good for him, couldn’t say it better.

Merry Christmas to you whoever and wherever you are, may your festive season be filled with love and joy and all my best wishes for 2015.

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God Bless #Glasgow

Words are not enough to express my feelings on yesterday’s tragic accident in Glasgow.

My heart goes out to all those families who have lost a loved one.

People going about their business, last minute shopping or enjoying the funfair at George Square then taken without warning.

It’s so sad.

So tragic at anytime but more so at this time of year. Christmas will never be the same.

George Square is the heart of the city,, facing the City Chambers. It’s where people have gathered over the years to celebrate or protest.

On Saturday my daughter was at that funfair and I took a few pics standing right there on Saturday night and posted them in a previous blog.

You can see how busy the square is. It would have been just as busy yesterday. It’s hard to imagine a lorry going off road and ploughing through all those people. The only blessing is that there aren’t more casualties.

Yesterday when news of the incident started appearing in Twitter. The first thing I did was check my 3 kids weren’t involved. Thankfully they were elsewhere.

I personally don’t know anyone involved but Glasgow is a big connected village. Everyone knows someone involved either directly or indirectly and the ripples came through last night making the tragedy all the more real.

My heart goes out to them, feel for their loss, can’t imagine the pain they are going through and I thank the heavens that it wasn’t any of mine.

God bless.

http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-30580114

#Christmas – Panic Over!

5am and woke up on the sofa .. again!

Too much off a bad habit now, so don’t nag .. I know already!!

5am and the house is dark but warm, this time next week will be Boxing Day, Christmas will be a memory, fresh, clear in our heads.

Maybe you’ll be fuzzy headed because you overdid the Christmas spirit .. Who cares it’s once a year.

Christmas not being fuzzy headed!

If you’re lucky you’ll wake up with someone that you love who loves you just as much back.

All the last minute panic of gift and food shopping will be behind us.

Hopefully it was all worth it.

But is it ever?

Or does Christmas and all its build up not sometimes feel like an anticlimax?

Too much effort for too little reward?

If I’m absolutely honest with you, which I am because well this is my blog and where I pour my wee heart out, so why wouldn’t I be?

But personally, I’m often disappointed when the day doesn’t often meet the expectation.

Maybe it’s because of all the rushing around buying gifts, the commercialism and the unnecessary expense.

Maybe it’s because with 3 kids and a large family, I put a lot out and if I’m honest, I don’t get a lot back.

Well not in material terms.

Then there’s all that cooking, then an hour later all that tidying up, not that I get any assistance with that.

Is that any reason not to look forward to this year?

Hell no … I love Christmas, even if it’s not the idealised fairy tale as portrayed in the movies.

A week from now, I hope you wake up with the love of your life, like the closing scene in Miracle In 34th Street.

Personally I’ll be happy for something between Elf and Bad Santa!!

So until then with 5 days to go, lots of presents still to buy and a huge food shop to take care off.

Now it is time to PANIC!!

Watched this the other night .. Absolutely outrageous, hilarious in places and not for watching with the kids.

#Christmas – It’s The Thoughtfulness That Counts!

it’s almost Christmas and I love this time of year.

Don’t get me wrong, it can bring its own problems, heartaches both emotional and financial.

Christmas can be the loneliest time when you are on your own or in a dead relationship, particularly when you naturally compare your life and situation to all those happy families on tv.

Statistically Christmas has the highest divorce and suicide rates .. as people realise they don’t want to be with their partner any longer or sadly choose to end it all.

Financially, like it or not, we are living in a material world and some families out there are struggling to provide the gifts their kids want. Not that the kids actually need these material things, but it’s the power of advertising and peer pressure that the expectation is that as parents we provide.

Christmas .. truly the best of times and the worst of times,

My auntie Anna is currently up from England for the weekend, so today I popped over to my Auntie Maureen’s to see them both as I won’t see Anna for a while and won’t catch up with Maureen until after the big day.

Maureen and Anna are my mums sisters, Anna is 10 years younger than mum and is her double. So although Anna and mum have very different personalities and life experiences, there was a feeling like it was like sitting with mum.

it was great to catch up with them both and my uncle Tony, i feel very blessed to have such a fantastic family, its very grounding sitting shooting the breeze with people who have known you for you’re full life, humbling, reassuring,

Anyways, after the pleasantries, drinking tea and catching up with life, family, kids etc, I opened up the bags of gifts that I brought over. Not that these matter, but they loved what i’d bought them.

My last gift for them was the smallest, a framed photo of both of them taken at my cousin Gerry’s at the Gala day over a year ago.

They both hate getting their photo taken, so this was unusual and captured them both perfectly.

My initial thought on giving this was so that they would both have a treasured image of each other particularly as it is a exceptionally good photo.

But on opening the wrapping, their reaction completely surprised me.

They both started crying, I didn’t understand why the pic had upset them and apologised for not realising the photo would have that effect.

But, that wasn’t it .. the reason they were crying was because the image of Anna, reminded them so much of their sister, my mum.

There was no sadness, just happy, poignant tears .. and a few big hugs for me. Not that I was looking for that, but once my aunties had explained their feelings and that they were delighted with the photo then I was a happy boy.

Now at home, feeling grounded, loved, reassured in a way that only the closeness of family can do.

I’m wondering, what else can I do, what small gifts can I give to my friends and other family members that will have more meaning to them than anything materialistic?

The old saying … It’s the thought that counts .. usually goes along with getting a crap gift that you didn’t really want.

After todays lesson, i’d like to change that to .. it’s the thoughtfulness that counts.

Thanks for listening.

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The Parting Glass – Christmas Tree

Of all the money that e’er I had
I’ve spent it in good company
And all the harm that e’er I’ve done
Alas it was to none but me

And all I’ve done for want of wit
To memory now I can’t recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

The Parting Glass – Irish Traditional

Tonight as my young daughter and I put up our Christmas tree, a joyful time, but also a time for memories, thoughts of family and friends no longer with us.

To avoid the somber mood creeping in, I let Claire put her playlist on and enjoyed the time spent with my darling girl before she grows up and flies the nest.

I was expecting her choice to be a blend of dance and Christmas party tunes and indeed it was, both of us singing Pumped Up Kicks amongst others.

But to my surprise and delight, she also played the following Irish Traditional tune as covered by Ed Sheeran.

I hadn’t heard his version before and I wonder why he comes to be singing such a traditional song.

Such a talented young man, much more so than you’re average mass produced Xfactor output. He was fantastic on stage solo at TITP this year.

But this sent a shiver through me.

Just thought I’d share.

Good night and joy be with you all

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Black Friday – Thinking Out Loud!

Thank feck it’s Friday … Yeee-haaa!

Been a long week .. trains disrupted, getting clamped .. I want a beer .. or 6.

Black Friday seems to be taking hold in the UK . .. but don’t believe the hype.

The shops were jam-packed full of bargain shit that you really don’t want, not the good stuff that you do.

They were also full of people going absolutely mad for the bargains, losing the plot, getting violent and refusing to leave even although all the stock was gone.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30241459

Crazy!

How desperate do you need to be, to be waiting outside a shop half the night to be at the front of the queue?

Just to save a few quid .. are you kidding?

Me .. I was interested in one of these 4K Ultra HD tvs, not that I actually need one.

But as you know want and need are 2 different things

I’ve been looking for a while and hanging around John Lewis at weekends .. making up my mind, decided on a Sony as you can’t really go wrong with Sony, it’s a bit more expensive than the Samsung or LG but has the latest HVEC codec to make it future proof.

But none of these 4K tvs were included in today’s deals .. funny that!

I will admit to being kind of glad as my sensible side says don’t be stoopid .. you’ve already got 2 big HD tellies and hardly watch them.

But I want one!

Tonight, going to my ex-works night out in Glasgow .. looking forward to catching up with everyone.

My mate Alex will be there, not seen him for a while .. so could be carnage!

A couple of tunes for today .. love this Tom Odell tune .. as featured in the John Lewis Christmas advert … very melancholic, sad, but positive .. going to teach myself that on piano.

Love this Ed Sheeran song Thinking Out Loud ..  totally agree with the message .. people fall in love in mysterious ways.   The girl in the video is gorgeous.

And how about this poppy rubbish from back in the day by Wang Chung .. always makes me smile.